Trump Trump Trump

Trump Trump Trump - by C-Section Comics

Trump Trump Trump / by C-Section Comics

All I hear about is Trump.
In the morning – Donald trump.
Noon and evening – Donald Trump.
While I sleep and while I hump.
Even when I take a dump,
all I hear about is Trump.

Twitter, Facebook, evening news
I don’t have a real short fuse,
but if I hear just one more “Trump”
I’ll climb the window and I’ll jump.
I’ll hit the curb with a big “thump”,
if I will hear just one more “Trump”.


Hey come on, don’t be a grump
My cartoons also have Trump.
This cartoon (it’s kinda mean)
shows how Trump turns our world green.
And if you want some right-wing stuff
here’s where I call Obama’s bluff.

The Art of Faking

Fake News - by C-Section Comics

Believe it or not, I drew this cartoon way before the latest public discussion about “fake news” and “alternative facts” came to surface.

The recent debate about the authenticity of major news sources follows President Trump’s latest clash with CNN. Trump claimed that CNN, as well as other news networks, intentionally published distorted figures regarding the crowd size during Trump’s inauguration ceremony. Trump went further and accused CNN of spreading “fake news”. With your kind permission, I’ll steer away from this discussion. I’ll do this since, much like most of you, I have no way of finding out who is right and who is wrong in this argument. Also, I really have no interest in participating, or knowing the results of, this stupid argument inauguration-crowd-size-comparison-slash-presidential-dick-measuring-contest between Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Instead, I would like to take a few moments to discuss the the media’s role in this discussion. I’ll also try to find out whether or not the growing suspicion some people have with regards to the credibility of their news sources is justified.

Anyone who was ever first-hand witness to a story which was later published in the news, knows that reported news are not, and can never be, 100% accurate. 100% accuracy is impossible even if we’re talking about the most professional and ethical reporters. There’s a really good explanation for this: A good news reporter gets the story from several sources, cross-checks the facts, and filters what he sees as important. The story he or she writes then get through additional filters (usually by an editor). The final, cross-checked, filtered result turns to a story that you read in the paper or hear in a newscast. Since each source gives his subjective view on what happened, and since each reporter and editor applies different filters according to what he/she sees as important, two reporters covering the same story could provide different perspectives on the same story.

Most intelligent people understand the process of reporting news. Therefore, most intelligent people will accept the fact that a story can have different angles, and that it can be told in different ways.

However, most people expect their news reporters to be:

  • Professional – the reporter should try to get as many facts from as many reliable sources as possible.
  • Neutral – the reporter should leave personal beliefs and prejudice aside when reporting the story.
  • Authentic – the reporter should provide as many angles to the story as possible, leaving no important detail unheard. For example, at the end of an investigative story, it’s customary to publish the responses of the investigated persons, to hear their side of the story.

When a media source doesn’t comply with one or more of the above, it creates a a breach of trust between itself and its consumers. As it turns out, many news organizations are becoming less compliant the above terms.

When news organizations publish stories that contain numerous unchecked facts, or have misleading titles, just so they could get sell more papers, or get more clicks, it harms the professionalism.
When a news organization officially endorses a presidential candidate, it loses any shred of neutrality that was left in it. When news organizations omit from their reports the religious beliefs and/or ideology of terrorists, even though those terrorists say loud and clear that they are committing their acts in the name of that religion or ideology, they are omitting a very important part of the story, thus harming their authenticity.

When you add the close ties that many media moguls have with leading political and business figures, and the potential pressures the latter put on getting positive coverage, you get yet another possible reason to question the integrity of some news organizations.

Trust is the key element here. Once we start losing trust in our news sources, it’s harder for us to “believe” the news we hear, especially those news that contradict our system of beliefs or our ideology. Every new story, every piece of evidence,  we start wondering: “Is this true? What is the hidden agenda behind publishing the story?”. Once we go this path, even important stories, which are based on reliable sources, start to sounds like fake news.

So in one thing Donald Trump is right: as media bias continues to become more common, major news sources continue to lose their credibility and their rating. And this should alarm us all, because a strong, independent media is a crucial part of a healthy, functioning Democracy. And if we let go our watchdogs of democracy, we’ll end up with coyotes and wolves roaming freely in our back yard.

In the mood for some more cartoons about the media and journalism? Here’s one about how news anchors are chosen, and here’s one depicting a prehistoric newscast full of fake news.

How Elections Work in Dictatorships

How elections work in dictatorships - by C-Section Comics

In dictatorships and totalitarian countries, such as Assad’s Syria or Mubarak’s Egypt, the regimes are fond of holding “Elections” with either only one candidate, or at most two candidates, one of which is sort of a “straw man” candidate (such is the case in Bashar al-Assad’s Syria, though in the cartoon I chose to depict it as a single candidate election). The idea of elections in dictatorships is to give the people the feeling of a democracy, while basically making sure the tyrant stays in office, usually receiving around 90% of the people’s support. Sometimes, such as in Azerbaijan’s 2013 elections, the results are miraculously known even before the elections were held!

The results in such elections are almost unanimous because the people “know” who they should choose. The know because

  • a) there’s only one valid candidate
  • b) they are being told who to vote for by government officials, the government-controlled media in those countries, the police, the army.
  • c) they are aware that if they cast the “wrong” ballot, things will be bad for them. In totalitarian countries, Big Brother always seems to know who you voted for.

Now for the latest US elections. No candidate will get 90% of the votes, we all know that. In fact, according to the latest polls, it’s more or less a tie between the two candidates. But it seems that the media (and by “the Media” I mean almost all major news sources, there are always exceptions) has taken a decisive stance in who should be the next president, and it’s making sure to tell us all who we should vote for. While we’ve seen these kind of things in the past, in the case of Donald Trump, the Media’s unanimity on making sure he won’t be elected is prominent more than ever. So much for being impartial. “We report, you decide” has been replaced with “We report and decide”.

There is a frightening similarity between elections with “one candidate”, and elections with “one valid candidate”. In both cases, people are given only one valid option to choose from. Let’s be clear: the US is clearly not on the path of becoming a tyranny. Not even close. But when the media tells us all who we should vote for, it’s starting to sound more like the old Pravda, the communist regime’s newspaper back in good old days of the Soviet Union. A strong, independent and diverse media is important for a functioning Democracy, and when the entire press is all talking in one voice, saying the same exact things, it weakens their power. This is clearly not how free press in a democratic country should be.

Looking for some diversity of opinion? My comics often present conflicting opinions to my own, so why not read them? Here’s a previous cartoon about Elections 2016, and here are some more cartoons about politics.